In the vast majority of poker games (e.g. Texas Hold’em), the strongest hand automatically wins. However, there exist variations of poker in which the winning hand has to be of a certain strength to qualify as a winning hand. That strength level is the qualifier.
Examples of the Use of Poker Qualifiers
In low poker, if a 9 is set as the qualifier, then the lowest hand needs to be at least a 9 to qualify for winning the pot.
In high poker, if an Ace-high is set as the qualifier, then the winner’s hand must be at least an Ace to qualify for the pot.
What Happens if the Winning Hand Does Not Meet the Qualifier?
So what happens to the pot when the winning hand does not meet the qualifier? In many games, such as lowball, the entire pot will get carried over to the next hand. In high-low split games, the qualifier only relates to a part of the pot. In this case, the unqualified for part of the pot will carry over to the next hand.
- The minimum hand strength required to win the pot in a poker game.